No brooms were needed at Progressive Field after 18 innings on Monday afternoon.
Despite a 1-0 win in the first game, the Tribe could not muster any offense in the second game and New York took the second game 7-0. Trevor Bauer battled the Yankees into the seventh inning—in what might be his best start with the Tribe—but the bullpen, poor defense and a quiet offense was too much to overcome.
Plenty has changed for the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians since the two teams were rained out of half of their series in early April to open the home season at Progressive Field. They return to Cleveland Monday to squeeze in a traditional doubleheader as their respective division leaders.
The Yankees (23-13) have won five straight games and have sole possession of the AL East by one full game. They came to Cleveland the first time at 2-4 and scuffling. They left town after pummeling the Indians pitching staff for 25 runs in two games before Mother Nature called mercy on the home town crowd.
The Indians (20-15) return home for a one-day layover after taking two of three from the division-leading Detroit Tigers and pulling into a tie for the top spot in the AL Central. They have won four consecutive series after splitting four with the Royals and a pair with the White Sox. The offense has come to life since they scored seven runs against the Yankees in their two defeats to them over a month ago.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the original title of a novel written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. It has become a popular play as well as an acclaimed movie. In 2013 Indians fans have been witness to their very own Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in young prospect Trevor Bauer. Bauer is the Indians number one prospect and ranks as Baseball America’s #14 in all of baseball. With the Tribe needing help in the rotation many eyes are on the Bauer, looking for him to develop into the pitching prospect nearly everyone knows he can be. Dr. Jekyll is a dominant strikeout artist, while Mr. Hyde struggles to find the zone.
In four starts for the Columbus Clippers Bauer has pitched 24.2 innings with a 2.55 ERA. He has struck out 31 batters for an 11.3 k/9 and walked 10 for a 3.1 strikeout to walk ratio. He has looked outstanding and dominant on the mound, a fine Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Hyde comes out whenever he straddles the rubber for the Cleveland Indians. In two starts Bauer has pitched 10 innings with a 2.70 ERA. The issues arrive in his strikeouts and walks. He has struck out only seven while walking 13 for a strikeout to walk ratio of 0.54, an absolutely abysmal number. The question is, why has he looked so different from one level to the next? When the issue is getting hit hard or giving up home runs, it is easy to see that Major League hitters are better than Triple-A hitters, but when the issue is walks, the problem is not as clear.
It seems like with each win, the Cleveland Indians have a new hero to celebrate.
Saturday’s win went to Scott Kazmir. He won his first game of the season and his first start since September 19th, 2010, with six impressive innings on the afternoon. After working out of a jam in the second inning, he faced just one over the minimum the rest of his day, allowing two hits and a run. He struck out four straight batters at one point and struck out seven on the day. He was able to settle in because his offense continued to do something it had struggled to do earlier in the season – consistently get runners on base and drive them in.
During the Indians’ winning streak, a new hero has emerged almost every night.
The Minnesota Twins make their first of three different appearances to Progressive Field this season starting Friday evening with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
The Twins pulled back to even on the season by taking the final game of their series in Detroit against the Tigers. They are in the middle of a difficult road trip between Detroit, Cleveland, and then Boston, before returning home for nine games.
The Indians’ bats are alive and well and have supplied the starting pitching, which has been much improved in recent days, with ample run support as the team resumes its current nine-game home stand. Cleveland and Minnesota will still play 16 more games against one another after the completion of this series.
On Wednesday night the Tribe’s rookie phenom showed he does have a bit of a ways to go before he is winning hardware. However, he was good enough to out-duel the lefty. The Indians got the better of their former ace, sweeping the two-game series with a 6-0 victory at Progressive Field.
Tonight, it will be an anticipated matchup between the Indians’ past and future.
It will be Lee’s first trip to Cleveland since the infamous 2009 trade that sent him to the Phillies for the first time. The trade has many Indians fans frustrated in retrospect, as the haul included Carlos Carrasco (suspended again), Lou Marson (career .219 hitter on the disabled list for the second time this season), Jason Donald (traded to Cincinnati) and Jason Knapp (out of baseball).
Interleague play comes to Cleveland for the first time this season as the Philadelphia Phillies make a quick stop to Progressive Field for a pair of games against the Indians.
The Phillies come to town on a three game winning streak. They have played very streaky baseball so far this season – prior to their sweep of the Mets over the weekend, they dropped three of four against the Pittsburgh Pirates, split a series two games apiece with the St. Louis Cardinals, and were swept in three games by the Cincinnati Reds. They have won just three of their eight series on the season, winning two sets from the Mets and one from the Miami Marlins.
The Indians return home after a scheduled ten-game road trip that was shortened a day in Chicago due to inclement weather. Unusual heroes – Mike Aviles, Corey Kluber, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ryan Raburn – assisted Cleveland in coming home with a winning 5-4 record on their road trip.
Both managers (Terry Francona and Charlie Manuel) will face off against the organizations they began their managerial careers with. Francona managed in Philadelphia for four years starting in 1997. Manuel led Cleveland for two and a half seasons, starting in 2000.
Trevor Bauer has been has been the talk of many Indians fans this season, hoping he could be the missing piece in the rotation. While he struggled in his only start this season for the Tribe, he has been pitching quite well in Columbus, striking out 16 batters in 13 innings while only giving up 10 hits, three runs and four walks.
Every manager talks about it as the key to success in nearly every aspect of baseball. You can’t listen to a player talk about their game without mentioning it as a key. You can’t listen to a pregame or postgame press conference without hearing about its importance.
Through 17 games, the Indians are struggling mightily to find consistency and it shows on the field almost daily. Some of the Indians’ lack of consistency is due to bad luck and injuries. The rest of their inconsistencies are a result of their play.
A beat up New York Yankees squad heads to Cleveland to take on the Indians for four games to open Progressive Field for the 2013 season.
New York is in the middle of a seven-game road trip. They opened the season at home against the rival Boston Red Sox before playing three in Detroit against the Tigers. Cleveland returns home after spending their first six games of the season on the road against American League East opponents. They will continue on the eastern front, but will at least have home field advantage for this series.
It will be the sixth time in 113 opportunities that the Yankees open the Indians’ home field. The Yankees hold a 3-2 edge all-time. Both teams come to Cleveland after winning their Sunday matchups via shutouts.
In this week’s podcast Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian and Mike Brandyberry have actual Indians baseball to discuss. The three discuss the first series of the season in Toronto and what players impressed them the most, how the Tampa Bay series …